New Razer soundbar uses AI-based head-tracking to beam audio directly to your ears

Daniel Sims

Posts: 832   +33
WTF?! Neural network AI is seeing various implementations these days: text generation, image reconstruction, facial recognition, legal defense, and more. Razer thinks AI can solve a fundamental cost-quality compromise between soundbars and surround sound systems. Its latest audio product combines multiple cutting-edge technologies to provide immersive sound in an unobtrusive package.

At CES 2023, Razer unveiled a new sound system that combines beamforming with an AI neural network to try to offer the quality of a surround sound setup in a soundbar. It does this by combining AI, head-tracking, beamforming, and spatial audio.

Razer's first soundbar to use this system – the Leviathan V2 Pro – contains IR cameras that can see the position of the user's head. It sends that information to a neural-network processor, which tracks the head position in real-time to know where to direct its beamforming sound.

Beamforming combines signal wavelengths in a way that enhances desired signals and cancels out unwanted signals for clearer reception. It's typically associated with antenna arrays but can also beam sound directly to a person's ears. Razer's AI-based head-tracking should allow this even as users move their heads.

The company also understands that terms like "AI," "tracking," and "neural network" could raise privacy concerns for some. Razer stresses that as the soundbar updates its tracking data, it throws the old information away and never uploads it. The connection to the PC doesn't transmit any visual information, and the images from the IR cameras never leave the soundbar's processor.

Razer's 3D audio system also uses THX spatial audio in two modes: one that emulates headsets for two-channel sound and another that tries to virtually replicate a multi-speaker surround setup. The company advertises its product as an improvement over one-direction soundbars without the complex cable setups that surround-sound setups require. Razer's system only requires one USB connection to a PC.

The AI-powered technology adds $150 to the price of Razer's soundbars. The Leviathan V2 Pro will cost $400 when it ships at the end of January, compared to the $250 Leviathan V2. The V2's spec sheet looks virtually identical to the V2 Pro's, suggesting AI-based head-tracking is the only difference between them.

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Posts: 1,307   +351
We've come a long way in the industry of sound, especially in the "noise-cancelling" tech found in headphones, cars. well even the rtx voice works really well. digital sound processing (DSP) tech as well, what we have in a tiny usb-c to 3.5mm dongle can outperform many soundcard 20 years ago.

however we do not have advanced tech of "virtual surround sound". nobody has made a system that can properly simulate rear speakers using a soundbar let alone razer. they make good mice yes but speakers? many other more expensive speakers have tried and failed. virtual surround sound just can't be done period. physics are physics. speakers create directional soundwave. you can try to emulate all you want but all you can do is bounce certain signals to the wall and hope it create an echo that mimics rear speakers.

just look at video ffs and you'll see that's not how speakers work. the "headset mode" is laughable.


Posts: 970   +1,015
I guess the days of moving my chair and adjusting my speakers is long gone. Hmmm just another 1/64 of an inch to the left and I will have it perfect


Posts: 1,028   +1,397
I highly doubt this thingie will provide better sound than my current PC's 5.1 surround sound system. And I bet it will cost as much or even more!